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Calgary Flames 3, San Jose Sharks 2

04 Nov

Matthew Tkachuk, in his 10th game of the season, scored twice to defeat San Jose. That was the Sharks first home loss of the season.

The 10-game milestone has traditionally been a big deal with rookies, however we’re seeing more and more teams keep their rookies in order to have them develop in the NHL rather than the AHL — or in Tkachuk’s case the OHL.

The story for the Flames continues to be, where is the top line? They’ve been invisible for 11 games this year. It was encouraging to see Glen Gulutzan put Giordano and Brodie back together again, and after the Sharks game can’t imagine them being split up again.

For all the fuss that’s been made over the Flames’ poor start, they are 1 point under .500 and 4 points out of first in the conference. Now that they are on the road they are starting to play a little better, maybe the crazy November schedule is just what they needed.

 

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Calgary Flames 5, Ottawa Senators 2 – Flames are .500!

29 Oct

Well now the Flames have won three games in a row, they are back to .500 and Elliot is looking like the goaltender that we all thought we were getting when he was signed this past summer. Have things turned around? Is the system working? And where is T.J. Brodie?

Similar to the first three games of the season, these are another three games. This is why you don’t judge a team by a game or a small body of work, because averages start becoming averages only when you have a good sample size. This is why winning percentage isn’t even worth looking at until you’re 20 games into a season. This is why you can’t look at the standings until you’re at least 10 games in to the season.

I’m sure everyone is aware of this and we all understand that ‘two points at the beginning of the season is the same as two points at the end.’ But really the trick is to maintain a .600 winning percentage and you do that by being as consistent as possible. Streaking teams run out of energy over the course of a year and their fans really don’t want to rely on having one more winning streak than a losing one.

Believe me, it’s draining.

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St. Louis Blues 6, Calgary Flames 4

23 Oct

Actually I think this score favours the Flames. If it wasn’t for the questionable goaltending of Jake Allen — and excellent goaltending by Chad Johnson — this game could have been much worse.

The bright spot was Chad Johnson, who has emerged as Calgary’s number one goaltender while Brian Elliot works through some issues. I also thought Versteeg, Bennett and Ferland all had strong games. Now that I think about it, so did Girodano. Hamilton, on the other hand, made some pretty glaring mistakes that led to Blues goals. Most expensive mistake since Matt Stajan.

Noticeably absent was Matthew Tkachuk. I’m not sure if he got nicked up, but he didn’t play in the St. Louis game.

Check out HockeyBuzz’s When it rains, it pours post on the start the Flames are off to. Todd’s got more time than I do.

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Carolina Hurricanes 4, Calgary Flames 2

21 Oct

And the Flames edition of a ‘fast start’ continues.

Well at least we got a goal from Gaudreau, and the penalty kill looked okay — despite allowing 2 goals. The power play however, yikes. The Flames went 0-for-6 with the man-advantage and are 1-for-22 this season.

Summary:

Jeff Skinner had a goal and an assist, and Eddie Lack made 24 saves to help the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-2 win against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

Teuvo Teravainen, Victor Rask and Viktor Stalberg also scored in the Hurricanes’ first victory of the season and first win at Calgary in eight games dating to Dec. 12, 2002.

Troy Brouwer and Johnny Gaudreau scored, and Brian Elliott made 28 saves for the Flames, who have one win in their first five games.

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Calgary Flames 4, Buffalo Sabres 3 (OT)

19 Oct

Well of all the games that Calgary has played so far, this was one of them.

I’d say it was the game that they most deserved to lose, but the second game against Edmonton was that. For this game they actually played pretty well, out-shooting Buffalo 34-21, however Chad Johnson had to be sharp. The Sabres had a lot of good scoring chances in those 21 shots, and 3 went in, which doesn’t speak to how well Johnson played.

Calgary had a goal called ‘on’, have you ever seen that? I haven’t. The Flames scored after the whistle and the goal was immediately waved off, but then after discussion the refs announced it as a good goal. Weird.

In overtime Monahan cross-checked Reinhart (I think it was) right into the boards, took the puck and after a couple passes scored in overtime. I kept waiting for the whistle to call that boarding penalty but it never came.

I heard it explained best on the Fan960 this morning, that Calgary was due for a little puck luck. And that is just what happened.

Summary.

Overview:

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Calgary Flames 1, Vancouver Canucks 2 (SO)

16 Oct

That makes three losses in three games, each of which were lost in their own unique way.

Game 1. Elliot couldn’t stop a shot. After surrendering 6, the Flames were in too deep a hole.

Game 2. The Flames came out flying in the first period, then disappeared for the last 40 mins. It was bizarre. The PP and PK that were great in the first game were non-existent in this one.

Game 3. Calgary could not score a goal. The only reason this game went to OT was because Louis Eriksson scored into his own net to give Calgary the lead until the final 3 minutes. Then Calgary couldn’t even score in four shootout attempts.

What a garbage way to start the season… with six points up for grabs against arguably the two worst teams in the league Calgary comes away with one point.

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Two games in and we’re already down 12-7 to the Oilers

15 Oct

So the first loss I get. Elliot was awful, Grossman didn’t help by repeatedly setting up Oilers in our own slot and McDavid got a penalty shot awarded for some reason. The Oilers scored seven on 28 shots. The first two shots of the game went in. So I get it.

The second loss however, I do not get. Here’s Elliot after the first loss:

“It was kind of one of those nights where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong,” Elliott said. “That’s not the way you want to start the season. The good thing is we have these guys back at home [Friday] and we’ll get back to the drawing board.”

So I don’t know what was written on that drawing board, but I’m going to guess it was “Goaltending = Better.” It seemed to be at the expense of the rest of the team.

Calgary had 24 shots in the first period, then 11 shots in the last two. Calgary was 0-5 on the powerplay and Edmonton was 2-4. It was embarassing.

Also Elliot’s GAA is 5.07 and Sv% is .818. I hope that’s not what’s on the drawing board.

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Gaudreau signs 6-year, $40.5 contract – also other stuff has happened!

11 Oct

It’s a big day, and I don’t have a lot of time so here are the highlights:

  • Gaudreau’s six-year, $40.5 million contract, will pay him the same amount of money Mark Giordano makes annually – $6.75 million. I can’t tell you what a great deal I think this is, I thought for sure we’d be in the $7-8M/year range.
  • Treliving also inked Kris Versteeg – fresh off a tryout with the Edmonton Oilers – and rumour has it he may take Michael Ferland’s spot on the top line with Gaudreau and Monahan. The best part is that the Oilers made him an offer and he turned it down.
  • Matthew Tkachuk will start the season as a Calgary Flame. He’ll do his 9 games then be sent down, unless…. he BENNETTS!
  • Tyler Wotherspoon and Linden Vey was also sent to Stockton via waivers, although expect to see them in Flames jersey at some point this year. Ditto Hunter Shinkaruk.
  • Brandon Bollig cleared waivers and is expected to report to Stockton.
  • Higgins and Korpikoski were released, no huge surprise here.
  • Freddie Hamilton has stuck around, a bit of a surprise there.
  • Both Brett Kulak and Nicklas Grossmann will be on the opening night roster, that puts us at 8 D, which is not going to last.

Tomorrow night is Hockey Night in Alberta and the beginning of the 2016/17 season… Why it’s Christmas Day… God bless us everyone!

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Calgary Flames and Sharks Preview, Road Trip Recap, Draft Pick Update

07 Mar

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything, I have no better excuse that it’s taken me a while to catch up with all the games I’ve PVR’d. What I can say overall is that the scenario of being in a came and losing it in the final 5 minutes, or being behind by one goal and not being able to score with the goalie pulled — and losing — is the best possible outcome for the Flames and our rebuild.

Race for the draft pick lottery

First of all, Sports Club Stats has the odds of the Flames making the playoffs this year at 0.8%. So let’s move right to the conversation on tanking.

Calgary is second last in the league, one point below both Edmonton and Winnipeg. However Calgary has three games in-hand on the Oilers, so unless they lose all three, chances are we’ll be ahead of Edmonton before too long.

Since last-place Toronto is six points below Calgary, there is little chance the Flames are going to ‘catch’ them for the best shot at the first overall pick. However even if you finish last, your odds of picking first are just 1-in-5. Then the odds for teams 29th through 20th overall begin at 13.5% and go down to 5%. So really your odds of getting that pick are similar if you finish in the bottom handful of teams.

If the season were to end today, Calgary has a 11.5% chance of winning the pick.

Here are the projected top-five picks, according to Sportsnet:

1. Auston Matthews, C, Zurich (Swiss) 6-2, 195 lb.
Passed on the NCAA and the WHL to go to Europe and has six goals in first eight games.

2. Jakob Chychrun, D, Sarnia (OHL) 6-2, 194 lb.
Has recovered from off-season shoulder surgery. Is a physically dominant player with offensive talent.

3. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, London (OHL) 6-1, 188 lb.
Just like his dad: A prototypical power left winger. Chose the Knights over the University of Notre Dame.

4. Patrik Laine, LW, Tampere (Finland) 6-4, 210 lb.
Has an NHL shot now and scouts are already talking about how he plays with an Esa Tikkanen-like edge.

5. Julien Gauthier, C, Val d’Or (QMJHL) 6-4, 221 lb.
Seven goals in 10 games to start his third campaign in the “Q”. Had 38 last season.

San Jose Sharks at Calgary Flames preview

The San Jose Sharks are 2-1-1 against the Calgary Flames this year, who won 6-5 in a shootout at SAP Center on Feb. 11 in their most recent game.

After a 4-2 home loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday ended a three-game winning streak, coach Pete DeBoer is hoping the Sharks can bounce back against the two teams with the fewest points in the Western Conference – San Jose plays Edmonton afterwards.

Goaltender Joni Ortio is expected to start after he got his first NHL victory since Jan. 19, 2015, in a 4-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. Ortio has allowed 13 goals and has a .914 save percentage in his past five games.

Let’s recap the trip

Calgary Flames 4 – Pittsburgh Penguins 2

Calgary ended a 7-game losing streak when they fought back from two one-goal deficits to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 at Consol Energy Center on Saturday. Ortio finally won a game this year, Joni Ortio made 29 saves to earn his first win in 10 appearances this seasons (1-6-2).

Buffalo Sabres 6 – Calgary Flames 3

The Buffalo Sabres are 10-0-2 against the Flames since Calgary’s last win in Buffalo since 1996. Marcus Foligno had a goal and two assists and Jack Eichel scored his 18th goal of the season to help the Sabres to a 6-3 win against the Flames at First Niagara Center on Thursday.

Boston Bruins 2 – Calgary Flames 1

Patrice Bergeron scored a tie-breaking power-play goal with 3:24 remaining in the third period to give the Boston Bruins a 2-1 win against the Calgary Flames at TD Garden on Tuesday.

Calgary was assessed a bench minor for having too many men on the ice with 4:07 to play. The Bruins’ power play had been 0-for-4 and hadn’t scored in a goal in Boston’s previous four games. But Bergeron capitalized on Boston’s fifth chance of the night when he beat Joni Ortio with a one-timer.

Philadelphia Flyers 5 – Calgary Flames 3

Brayden Schenn got his first NHL hat trick, and Claude Giroux had four assists to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a 5-3 win against the Calgary Flames at Wells Fargo Center on Monday.

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Calgary acquires Hunter Shinkaruk from the Canucks

23 Feb

Markus Granlund is no longer a Calgary Flame. Hunter Shinkaruk is — or a Stockton Heat anyway.

The Flames were able to swap the 22-year-old for a former 1st round pick in Hunter Shinkaruk. I’m not sure what Vancouver was thinking in this instance, since they are a year behind Calgary in their own rebuild. I guess they figured that they needed some depth at centre, and that they had enough prospects with scoring ability to trade one for a bottom six forward?

Obviously both players still have their careers ahead of them but at this point it seems like Granlund projects to be a middle-6/bottom-6 forward while Shinkaruk’s productions leaves reason to optimistic about his future as a top-6 guy at the NHL level.

It’s not all roses for the Calgary Flames though, at least one Vancouver blogger feels that Granlund may turn out to be a long-term NHLer where Shinkaruk will not. Even though he raises a couple good points, I still like our chances of winning this one long-term.

A Calgary native, Shinkaruk was drafted by the Canucks in the first round (24th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft. The 21-year-old has 21 goals and 18 assists in 45 games this season with the AHL’s Utica Comets. The winger made his NHL debut this season on Nov. 16 for Vancouver against Montreal.

Granlund is a 22-year-old forward who has gotten off to a respectable start to his NHL career tallying 14 goals and 28 points in his first 86 NHL games.

Anaheim Ducks 5, Calgary Flames 2

Hey guess what? The Flames lost a game in Anaheim! I know right? It’s shocking that the Flames — who haven’t won in Anaheim in more than a decade — lost another one on Sunday.

Ryan Kesler had two goals and an assist to help the Anaheim Ducks to a 5-2 win against the Calgary Flames. Patrick Maroon, Ryan Getzlaf and Kevin Bieksa scored for the Ducks (31-19-8).

The Flames (26-29-3), who got goals from Mark Giordano and Mikael Backlund, have lost 22 straight regular-season games in Anaheim. Their last win was Jan 19, 2004.

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